The GOP’s Approach to a Tax Plan: Deny Fiscal Reality

New York Times Editorial Board: “The Republican presidential candidates were full of tax talk at this week’s debate. But none has a tax plan coherent enough to be the basis of a substantive discussion, let alone one that could meet the nation’s challenges.”

“All of the Republican plans focus on tax cuts, so losses are all but inevitable … Yet the candidates assert, against historical evidence, that revenue losses from tax cuts will be offset by economic growth.”

“All of these candidates deny fiscal reality. In the next 10 years, revenues will need to increase by 40 percent simply to keep federal spending even, per capita, with inflation and population growth. Additional revenues will be needed to pay for health care for the elderly, transportation systems and other obligations, as well as for newer challenges, including climate change. And interest on the national debt will surely rise because interest rates have nowhere to go but up.”

“In light of these needs, taxes have to go up. The reality is that income tax increases can be prudently imposed only on the wealthy at this point, because only they have had meaningful income gains in recent decades.”